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Cryptologic Hall of Honor

The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay special tribute to the pioneers and heroes who rendered distinguished service to American cryptology.

The standards are high for induction into this great hall. The individuals honored were innovators over their entire careers or made major contributions to the structure and processes of American cryptology. The men and women who have been inducted to the Cryptologic Hall of Honor are all greats in the once silent world of cryptology.

In the early days of America's cryptologic effort, many of the "giants" did both Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance. They made important contributions to both offensive and defensive cryptology. As such, they were among the first inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor. 

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Lester K. Myers, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Lester K. Myers
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Lester K. Myers, former NSA Senior Language Analyst, mentor, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. Whitfield Diffie, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. Whitfield Diffie
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. Whitfield Diffie, computer security pioneer and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Barbara A. McNamara, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Barbara A. McNamara
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Barbara A. McNamara, former NSA Executive Assistant to the Director, former NSA representative to the Department of Defense, former Deputy Director NSA, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. David Kahn, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. David Kahn
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. David Kahn, Journalist, Author, former NSA Scholar-in-Residence, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

George R. Cotter 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
George R. Cotter
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About George R. Cotter, former NSA Chief of Staff, NSA Chief Scientist, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Frank Austin

2014 Hall of Honor Inductee

Frank Austin was commissioned in the Army Signal Corps in June 1942 and assigned to Arlington Hall Station, where he led a team of cryptanalysts. Mr. Austin converted to civilian status in 1946 and held senior positions in Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Communications Security (COMSEC) at NSA and its predecessors.

As NSA Inspector General (IG) from 1965-1969, he earned the Agency's highest honor, the Exceptional Civilian Service Award. Two initiatives he undertook as IG reshaped NSA in very important ways.

As the IG in the late 1950s, Mr. Austin took charge of examining the ineffective Manual of U.S. SIGINT Operations (MUSSO). When findings revealed that the existing system could not be salvaged, he recommended an entirely new system, now known as USSIDs (U.S. Signals Intelligence Directives). The extraordinarily effective system is still used today, more than half a century later.

In the 1960s, Mr. Austin recognized the disparity between career advancement of African Americans versus that of white NSA employees and launched an investigation. At his recommendation, the NSA Director established the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity. Mr. Austin's efforts to ensure minorities received equal treatment at NSA helped change the Agency's culture into the 21st century.

As Commandant of the National Cryptologic School, Mr. Austin improved the curriculum, turned a routine class into a flagship course for management education, and established two NSA professional journals to stimulate innovation and idea sharing. He retired from NSA while Commandant in 1972.